Too Happy – Too Sad

By | March 18, 2016

Question:

I get very emotionally invested once a date is set up for me and I would like to ask you advice on how to detach so that I can move forward more easily. Before I go on a date, I immediately fantasize on a rosy outcome of that date and hope for the best. When the date falls through, I feel tremendously discouraged and disheartened. It becomes very hard to think positively. Is there anything I can do to prevent the immense discouragement that I feel?
Thank you!

Answer:

Hi Toby!
What you’re describing is very normal and actually encouraging. I would be much more  concerned if you told me that you don’t even want to bother going out because why should this one be any different than the others.when we date it’s because after doing our research and davening we really believe that this one might be the right one.
So I definitely wouldn’t want you to lose that optimism, because it’s a sign of hope and because it means you’re bringing your whole  self into the date. What you do want, however, is a way to temper your emotional investment and tools for dealing with setbacks.
Both of these can be helped by using some cognitive behavioral work. Think of your emotions as a ruler with your thoughts on either end. Before a date you’re at 10 with excitement and after a disappointment you’re at 0 with despair. We want to to slide both of those reactions to somewhere around 5 or 6 by adjusting your thoughts about them. Instead of “he’s  THE one”, try substituting, “I’m excited to meet him. We’ve heard such nice  things. I hope this is a good experience. “
Try replacing “I can’t bear this anymore ” with “wow, I am REALLY bummed,I liked this guy.”
Of course the feelings will still be there- that’s a good thing. It’s tragic when feelings become so overwhelming that we have to shut them down. But hopefully they’ll be shorter in duration,less intense and less devastating.
In the moments of hearing a no, the mind doesn’t want to hear any login.  This is similar to Pirkei Avos  where the   Mishna exhorts us not to comfort a mourners while his dead still lies before him. But after the sting wears off, ultimately our comfort comes from knowing that everything has a time and a place and both are determined by Hashem.
I hope that helps and I hope you soon experience the joyous mutual yes.
Sara
Category: Advice and Chizuk

About sara

Sara Eisemann, LMSW, ACSW, is a therapist who lives in Oak Park, Michigan, with her husband and five children. She is on temporary leave from the field (about 10 years now) as she raises her family, but has maintained her love for working with people. Sara lectures on topics related to relationships, personal development and growth. She has a passion for humor, writing, and kiruv but mostly for promoting self-awareness and authenticity in our relationship with Hashem and with each other. She welcomes questions, comments, feedbacks and interaction.

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